Concrete and Silk

I.

I’ve lain on both
when I did not care the difference
numb, dispirited, saddle leather calloused
as though
I had journeyed many miles
with no smiling faces to greet
only to collapse
on a post-apocalyptic beach
staring at a sun
draped in the miasma
of hades.

II.

Where does spring rest
during winter’s breath-stealing
occupation, where
are the seeds of hope stored?
I like to think they are
hunkered in prayerful hearts of
grandmothers, warmed by
midnight novenas, plucked and kept
close to blazing-hearth breasts
of doting souls

III.

The twitch of needful things
the irony of silence
broken by a soft, “Hello”
is a page turning, eyes
cleansed of fog, rain blessing
fallowed, fissured ground.
And life stirs.

IV.

The bane of heartbreak
is compassion
the enemy of darkness
is a candle lit.

Reaching For the Stars: The Creator’s Approving Nod

As children, we sat around bonfires telling

ghost stories, our screams drifted

and lifted glowing embers

that much higher

 

we fashioned bows and arrows, climbed

oak trees to dizzying heights

scrapped our knees, felt the angst

of puppy-love…

 

a dizzying journey from there to here

stumbling countless leagues, scars and heartaches

are badges and sagas, I’m a bit worse for wear

a tad greyer for opening heavy doors and

bravely stepping across thresholds, no less a man for

steering through the raging oceans of tears

and correcting my course

 

off the six-lane highway onto the path

less trod, following the

still-small voice

so calming

like somber autumn’s

meditative verse.

 

I’ve looked back at myself in dream

in a mirror, I saw my youthful

inquisitive summer face

and behind me was;

the present me

 

looking up and smiling, reaching for the stars

wearing wisdom like a humble sage, glad

to see the Creator’s approving nod.

A Twist of Fate and Love is Born

~The story of Cupid and Psyche: A Constanza Poem

 

A plot with evil purpose grew,
o’er Psyche, from a jealous heart,
‘twas Cupid wounded by love’s dart.

And if Psyche had only knew,
could she have changed this scheme wound tight,
that wed her to the darkest fright?

Would crimson love have changed its hue?
to slip into soft silky dream,
and what would come of thwarted scheme?

If not for subterfuge and rue,
would such a story have its worth?
Would romance sorely suffer dearth?

We’d not know of these epic two,
of soulful ardor and its plight;
if not for fate and spirit’s might.

A plot with evil purpose grew,
and if Psyche had only knew,
would crimson love have changed its hue?
If not for subterfuge and rue,
we’d not know of these epic two.

 

©Michael J. Donnelly 2018

 

If You’re Not Living, Then You’re Slowly Dying

The, ’it’s just another day’ look in someone’s eyes
subconsciously makes me caress my scars, it even
irritates me a bit, hell, feral dogs have more drive
than some humans I’ve met.

Theory and daydreaming are separated by only a
thin veil between; focus and a step forward.

Social drones, luckless spirits with smiles saying,
“I did this, I’ve done that, I’m going to do it when,”
listen to the little devil on their shoulder
whispering, “Save it for tomorrow.”.

Sloths, climbing about in trees generally have
more ambition than some people, at least
they’ll risk death for a hook-up, for a quick,
‘wham bam, thank-you ma’am.’

Thirty-somethings living in their parent’s basement,
snowflake’s melting under neon lights at happy hour,
bitching, they can’t tell you when they had
their last job interview…

shake off downy fledgling fluff and fly, crawl or run
sink or swim, but just do something.

Scrapes and bruises are merit badges, emotional and
physical scars are; earned purple hearts and silver stars.

If you’re not challenging yourself, you’re not rising
above the hapless daily gloom, hell even dust bunnies
grow with enough momentum.

I heard an old man say once, “Quit your bitching, stop
your damn crying, if you’re not living, then you’re slowly dying.”

That saying still makes me smile as I challenge the day and
slap Satan silly like a pimp slaps a whore, sending him
staggering down the street
talking to himself.

© MJ Donnelly 2018

Continue reading “If You’re Not Living, Then You’re Slowly Dying”

Turtles and Humanity

Creatures with shells
make me ponder
my own vulnerabilities

I recall toddler trials, mother’s coddling,
griddle-hot Iowa summers, the sticky pavement
barefoot dares, whimpering
garden hose relief

every scar is a waypoint, every wrinkle
a latitude and longitude line, I’m
still exploring, still mapping

emotional upheavals and angry words
are the spewing magma that must be released
after subconscious quakes, tremors
sometimes linger
for days

I stumble on through life, sometimes
I crawl, sometimes I just sit awhile and watch
others pass by, yeah
I envy turtles
with their bone-hard shells
and stoic stares

as I rub my aching calloused
hands and feet
releasing the day’s woe
in sighs.

No More Chicken Curry

“Let’s try that Indian restaurant,”
I said, you made a funny face
simultaneously upturning
a corner of your mouth and
squinting an eye,

you gasped
after the first bite,
I asked the waiter
for ice, placed it
between my lips and cooled
yours, as you sighed,
“No more chicken curry.

The Veneer Of My Soul Pulses

 

There is a melodious tapping

as I close my eyes, like

a boat oar

loose in its rigger.

Undulating jade waves

lazily lull me as I touch the veil

of a dream, rhythmic breaths

transport me; I am adrift.

 

Distant car horns are seagulls

scent of exotic salt air

fills my lungs

I sense a tangerine glow

through my eyelids

 

perhaps I will write a message

place it in a bottle

and simply release it

with a sigh

as warm waters kiss

my fingertips.

Whatever Will Be, Will Be

You lie far away where

wagon wheels and babies once squealed

and after the bustle, tall grass

grew, swaying in breeze

echoing the peace

you now know.

 

I will journey there

where those hissing grasses

now hush the chaos

where green rolling hills

yet whisper secrets

where I imagine humble Angels

prostrate and praying.

 

Perhaps, autumn bending to winter

will be the setting, with

gunpowder clouds swirling

but nonetheless, I will sing, ‘Que Sera, Sera,’

and spite the gloom

with red roses.

 

No Regrets

There are circumstances and

there are best laid plans,

there are needs

and there are

desires.

 

My soul has interpreted the runes of life

though I may not have consciously

perceived; all battles, stumbles

and falls, all misjudged calls

though such brought me

here

 

to the sanctuary of us,

to zen words whispered, to

adoring tears, to

your sacred touch that

stirs me from nightmares

 

I am only relative within your embrace,

I am a scarred and tatty Goshawk

that now resides in green pastures,

worse for wear, yet

adored

 

your beating heart and caress tells me,

“It is here, that you belong.”

Mother’s Potholders

Dandelion and tangerine blooms

on a quilted field of

neon green, threadbare edges

were testament to

countless labors of love

singed here and there

the only moisture those flowers

saw, was her sweat

and tears.

Gestalt-psychology Versus Existentialism: the heart’s quest

I beheld you gleaming

in tangerine tendrils of sunset,

an ivory altar long obscured

within drumming canyons

and I made my way.

 

Pleasantries were the birds singing

at dawn, when I reached you,

dithering notes slinking cross your form

and through your raven hair

whispered, “come, you doting fool,

indulge and worship

 

when I arrived,

I dropped my reason and

the trail behind me disappeared

as I fell smiling into your

Shangri-La valley.

The Veneer Of My Soul Pulses

There is a melodious tapping

as I close my eyes, like

a boat oar

loose in its rigger.

 

Undulating jade waves

lazily lull me as I touch the veil

of a dream, rhythmic breaths

transport me; I am adrift.

 

Distant car horns are seagulls

scent of exotic salt air

fills my lungs

I sense a tangerine glow

through my eyelids

 

perhaps I will write a message

place it in a bottle

and simply release it

with a sigh

as warm waters kiss

my fingertips.